Chapter 2-17

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VOLUME 2

Chapter 2

Ch2-17

Berserker of Red ignored all the Dragon Tooth Warriors that bit at him, and savagely attacked Lancer and Archer of Red. The reason he attacked wholeheartedly like this was probably because of Lancer of Black.

Though he had switched his Master and changed camps, Berserker would have undoubtedly attacked Lancer if he weren’t restrained by Caster’s Command Spell. His unconscious desire to do so had naturally led him to the fiercest scene of battle on this battlefield.

Berserker of Red was truly like a time bomb, but his strength was great enough to invoke fear even in other Servants.

“Tch. I knew I should have shot his tendons back then…!!”

As she said that, Archer of Red repeatedly shot a strafing of arrows. Her arrows, fired at the same speed as a machine gun, all hit their target. Berserker’s knees now looked like hedgehogs.

With a strange sound, Berserker of Red’s knees changed to an eerie color like that of overly ripened persimmons, but Berserker didn’t fall.

“—Archer. Please take care of Berserker. I’ll take care of this lord of impalement, Kaziklu Bey, here.”

Lancer of Red said that to Archer while crossing spears with Lancer of Black.

“Roger. Hmph… Now that I think about it, you are quite a pitiful creature, Berserker!”

Since he was participating in this Great Holy Grail War, Berserker had to subordinate himself under someone. There might also occasionally be cases where he would have to fight as the dog of some tyrant… If he had been summoned in the Saber class as a proper swordsman, would he have been able to endure the humiliation of that?

That’s why, if he was going to fight with the Holy Grail as the prize, he couldn’t be anything but a high-risk Berserker. And his Mad Enhancement was deteriorated to the point of being beyond saving. Most likely, no matter which Holy Grail War he was summoned in, he would never be able to have his wish granted.

But even so, he smote evil while laughing. He searched for the path of rebellion even while being tormented. A hopeless destroyer who pursued the way of suffering—that was precisely the kind of person Spartacus was.

Archer of Red therefore deemed him pitiful as she shot her arrows at him. To her, Berserker was merely big-bodied. Both the blows of his gladius swung by his strong arm and his charge were equivalent to motionless in the face of her beast-like speed. But Berserker’s steel-like muscles didn’t falter at all despite being pierced by several arrows.

“So tough… Then how about this!”

Archer stopped trying to maintain distance between them and vigorously ran forward. She dodged the sweeping slash that came to intercept her by sliding on the ground. As if it were chasing after her, Kaziklu Bey: Lord of Execution shot stakes to pierce her in rapid succession, but they didn’t reach Archer as she dashed forward at full power.

As she passed through the space between Berserker’s feet, Archer fired arrows at his lower jaw, windpipe, solar plexus and abdomen in a single instant.

“Hahahaha! Not enough! Not enough! Nooooot eeeeeeeeenooooough!!!”

But Berserker simply turned around and kicked Archer in the stomach with all his might. Hit with an impact equal to that of a direct hit from a cannon ball, Archer was sent flying twenty meters away through the surrounding Dragon Tooth Warriors and homunculi.

“Guuuh…!”

Fortunately, she’d managed to jump back and escape by a hair’s breadth right before the kick fully hit. If she hadn’t, it wouldn’t have been strange if the impact had been strong enough to tear her torso off from the rest of her body.

While agonizing over her carelessness, Archer watched as Berserker approached her. Despite all the arrows she’d shot at him, his mad charge hadn’t changed at all.

But my arrows should have hit him…

It was possible for high-ranking Heroic Spirits like Rider of Red, who was beloved by the gods, to negate attacks with their skills or Noble Phantasms. She herself also personally knew a hero who possessed such an ability that was nearly foul play in the form of a Noble Phantasm that completely negated all attacks below a certain rank.

But there was no such ability among Berserker of Red’s Noble Phantasm and skills that Shirou had informed her about. Of course, it was possible that the priest hadn’t told her about it. But in this situation where Berserker was clearly facing them as an enemy, Shirou had no reason to hide such information.

And besides, most importantly, her arrows had definitely pierced him. She had received such feedback from them. Perhaps irritated by them, Berserker sometimes pulled out the arrows that pierced him, but he was definitely covered in wounds all over his body.

Yes, there was even blood flowing from them. She was definitely wounding him. Then, he must simply be enduring them. Perhaps she had merely underestimated his extraordinary stamina.

No… something is strange here.

She was a girl who had spent all her life doing nothing but fighting and hunting. Even as she was nocking another arrow, she observed Berserker’s body from afar and finally noticed it.

His wounds were healing. Rather than healing, though, it was more like over-regeneration. The pierced parts of his body swelled and bulged like tumors. Archer’s arrows should have pierced holes throughout his body. Then this meant—

“Impossible, is he… becoming bigger !?”

It wasn’t just that. She could feel a torrent of prana from him that was greater than it was before. While clad in a dense concentration of prana all over his body, Berserker swung his sword with strength and speed greater than earlier—!

“Tch…!!”

Archer jumped as she avoided the downward slash by a paper-thin distance. She jumped upon Berserker’s arm and ran straight towards his face.

“—Then I’ll take your head!”

Standing atop Berserker’s shoulder, Archer fired arrow after arrow at the nape of his neck. Thanks to her innate sense of balance, she didn’t fall no matter how much Berserker swung around, and she crawled around his back and, grabbing one of arrows that had pierced him, continued using it to slash his neck.

When the sound of blood gurgling out began, she stopped and put away the arrow, and then firmly stepped on Berserker’s shoulder with both her feet and pulled up his neck with all her might. At the sound of flesh tearing off as she did so, Berserker began running amuck even more in rage.

Tripping on the blood gushing out, Archer fell to the ground. She rolled over and reset her stance, and looked over to confirm the state of Berserker’s body—and was naturally left dumbfounded.

“…This is a bad dream.”

Archer’s mutter was only natural. Berserker’s neck, which should have been torn off, had flesh bulging from it like a spout of bubbles. It was an extremely disgusting and even slightly ridiculous sight. And Archer could tell that the prana overflowing from inside him had increased even further.

The Noble Phantasm of Berserker of Red, Spartacus, Crying Warmonger: Howl of the Wounded Beast, was an Anti-Unit Noble Phantasm that affects the user, converting part of the damage received into prana and using the accumulated energy to boost one’s abilities.

“But I did not hear anything about it grotesquely morphing even his physical form… guh!”

His neck now looking like a turtle’s, Berserker grinned with wide open eyes. While dodging the lash-like attacks of his swinging arms, Archer shot at his hand holding his sword this time in order to tear it off. Once three arrows had dug into his wrist, the gladius finally fell from his hand.

Archer fiercely sprinted forward and picked up his sword, and then swung it with both her hands to stab it into the back of Berserker’s writhing hand and plant it in the ground.

He didn’t cry out, but his movements stopped due to being deeply stabbed. If his wrist had been torn off he could have escaped, but unfortunately, due to his excessive regeneration, his wrist had already undergone adhesion.

“All right, don’t move for a while.”

Archer looked around to confirm that there were no Dragon Tooth Warriors, homunculi or golems in the surrounding region, and then nocked another two arrows and fired them into the sky.

She limited the targeted area to a minimum and focused the arrows onto a single point. She was going to use her Noble Phantasm a second time, but this was currently the optimal choice among the attack options she had, so it couldn’t be helped.

…Fortunately, her Master did not utter a word of complaint either.

“I offer thee this calamity—Phoebus Catastrophe: Complaint Message on the Arrow!”

Berserker of Red stared at the sky and smiled. A shining rain fell down to purify him.

His entire body was thoroughly torn apart and finely hashed up. Muscle tissue, skin, blood vessels, nerves—all of it was damaged. Even a superior Servant wouldn’t be able to escape from being in a near-death state after that. Instantaneous healing was impossible even with a Master who was a first-rate magus.

But—

“…No way.”

As if in response to Archer’s mutter of mute amazement, the torn-up lump of meat in front of her began squirming.

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